Bridges of Königsberg – Considered Parallel to Borders (Or Dividers)

4.19.19 by Ryan Masteller

Look, I get WHY Leonhard Euler tried to figure out a way to walk through the city of Königsberg and cross its seven bridges once and only once. Everybody loves a good mind puzzle, including yours truly (genius-level mind puzzles only please). And it’s not every day that one of those mind puzzles results in a new form of mathematics, like Euler’s did with graph theory, while also “prefigur[ing] the idea of topology,” all the way back in 1736. That’s pretty impressive. I feel like “writing music reviews about cassette tapes in 2019” doesn’t really have the same cache as what Euler accomplished and when he accomplished it. Although you’re probably lucky I ended up a writer, or else “Mathestellarmatics” would almost certainly be part of Common Core, or at least constitute the majority of what Betsy DeVos’s kids learn in that boarding school of theirs.

Math is cool, I guess but “broken techno” and “harsh noise vibes” is cooler, especially when it’s blasting from a tape deck. And that’s what Bridges of Königsberg specializes in, and thank god for that, because I’ve been wandering back and forth across these bridges all damn day, trying to solve this problem, and I just need to stop and get my head back in the game here. Christopher Burns, David Collins, and Peter J. Woods channel the spirit of Leonhard Euler, that 1736 drive amid rudimentary means, and chart the crap out of six really long tracks, scribbling around borders and half-assedly erasing dividers mistakenly penciled in really hard before they realized they were in the wrong place. Rhythms often completely disintegrate instead of holding steady, bombarded from all sides by metallic fragments and digital shrapnel. Sometimes these tones and textures threaten to coalesce into understandable figures, but chaos inevitably sets in – and isn’t that more fun and exciting anyway? Let’s see what kind of beautiful mess entropy has in store for us.

“Considered Parallel to Borders (Or Dividers)” is a lengthy study that demands attention. Everything shifts, everything changes – like, always. Still, anybody who gets away with a track titled “Clutching the Moral High Ground” is OK in my book. It’s funny and sad at the same time, like the clown you’re currently kicking at the mall, and it lasts for thirteen minutes with a sarcastic earnestness fit for the ears of the most hardened cynic. At least I think it’s sarcastic. Even if it’s not, you’ll still probably like it. It’s abrasive yet charming. Just like Betsy DeVos.


Flag Day Recordings made 100 of these. Don’t make them regret a run of that size! (Meaning: buy one.)